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Bettman: "It was all a pack of lies"

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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=115726&hubName=nhl

2/21/2005

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said today that he thinks he was "set up" by the NHLPA last weekend, along with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. In an appearnace on WFAN in New York on Monday, Bettman blamed the players' union for unfairly creating the impression that a deal to save the season would be struck at Saturday's CBA negotiating session.

Instead of an agreement being reached, talks went nowhere on Saturday, leading to some bad public relations for all involved, and especially for the league.

"I think this was a set up," Bettman told Mike Francesa. "I think this was done intentionally to try and cause the type of reaction we saw all weekend. I think they were trying to position us into an offer they knew I couldn't accept - either because they wanted me to make a mistake that I couldn't get through my board (of directors), or so we would ultimately agree to something we couldn't afford."

Bettman said the whole ordeal was tougher to deal with than cancelling the season, which he did on Wednesday.

"What happened with our fans, in raising the level of expectation... I was sick to my stomach. It was more trying than what I had to do on Wednesday.

"And after Saturday, when everybody realized that they had been had, then they had a field day in the media, killing us on Sunday."

Francesa told Bettman both sides deserved the bad press for dragging the fans through that emotional roller coaster on the weekend.

"You're right," Bettman agreed, "except all we did was - all that information about a deal, a season, a press conference, the whole business of making an offer - it was all a pack of lies. I can't control the lies that are being told by whomever is telling them.

"We got criticized by people saying, 'How can you cancel the season Wednesday and then talk about undoing it on the weekend?' We never talked about undoing it.

"This is a case were it all ran amok, and none of it came from us (the league)."

Francesa then broached the pre-meeting rhetoric about Gretzky and Lemieux showing up at the meeting.

"Hockey people suggested Wayne Gretzky would only come in if the deal was getting done, that he wouldn't come in and preside over a loss," Francesa said. "The idea was that Wayne was the stamp that would get the deal done."

"That's right," Bettman agreed.

"So what you're saying is, that Wayne got set up too?"

"Sounds that way to me," said Bettman.

The union has not responded yet to Bettman's allegations.

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I watched this today on YES, and I agree with what Bettman is saying. I'm no Bettman fan, but he's clearly vastly superior to Bob Nogoodenow.

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"I think this was a set up," Bettman told Mike Francesa.

Maybe he should be paranoid. It was BS to do something last minute after all this time but Bettman should watch his back.

Edited by Zamode

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Goodenow responded to Bettman's claims and said that they were all lies. he-said/she-said keeps on rolling.

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Where did he respond? This is really embarrassing, putting a bigger black eye on the sport than the Bertuzzi hit ever could. :(

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It's only a matter of time before these two start prank calling each other. Unless that has already happened.

Phone rings- Goodenow picks up

Bettman: You suck Bob!

Gary hangs up

Bob calls Gary

Goodenow: Your mom!

Bob hangs up

;)

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Bob says the league called the meeting. And there was never any intention for the NHLPA to give a new offer.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

As much as this is Bettman's word vs Goodenow's we have the Hockey News writer that says that it was the players who leaked the $45M to him.

What made me think of the "conspiracy theory" was simply going on what the Hockey News guy said. He said a player rep leaked the $45M deal and told him that it was a virtual lock. I feel bad for the guy... he was played as well. He thought he had the biggest scoop in their paper's history. He just didn't know what it was a scoop of.

So I asked myself, WHY would a player rep go to the media and claim $45M and deal is done? What justification? What was he trying to accomplish?

And then I see the end result of the day and how many fans have turned against the owners in the last 48 hours and I see how their stunt has worked wonders. It's like night and day to Wednesday.

Like I said before, they played a REALLY, REALLY good hand on Saturday. And Bettman deserves the fan's and owners ire for falling for this trickery.

I wonder how Gretzky feels about Shane Doan selling him out? Doan BEGGED him to come to the meeting. Wayne and Mario must feel like such tools now... the players used them as part of their big charade.

Edited by Don

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It's only a matter of time before these two start prank calling each other. Unless that has already happened.

Phone rings- Goodenow picks up

Bettman: You suck Bob!

Gary hangs up

Bob calls Gary

Goodenow: Your mom!

Bob hangs up

;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, at least they'd be communicating!

:doh1:

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Bettman: "It was all a pack of lies"

:blahblah::lol::cryriver:

what you're seeing is the real CBA going on!!!

Cover Bettmans Ass

Edited by '7'

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But Don, the owners didn't offer anything more than they had on Wednesday. They can't get off the hook for trying to take advantage of the players.. when they realized they'd been had, it was too late. If $45M was the number to get it done, someone should've said that. But the league tried to stuff their offer with the onerous material that had the union holding the league's proposals at arm's length during the entire course of negotiations.

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I no longer think that 45 mil was "the magic number" just like there was no "magic bullet." The players don't want to give up the ghost of the old CBA. They want linkage that only benefits them. What does that tell you.

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He can't get off 42.5. He already has a constituency that has said that if he brings 42.5 to the table they will vote against it.

But that's besides the point. Both sides said they barely discussed cap size on Saturday. The contiental divide is over the amount of revenue-sharing, qualifying offers, arbitration and other peripheral issues such as the cap growing with revenue.

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Thinking about this in the car another reason we know this was a NHLPA leaked rumor is because a couple of places were telling us players in Europe were being told to come home. Only the NHLPA would be commanding the players like that so obviously thats where the story was coming from.

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I honestly think Bettman has done a good job in these negotiations. First he got the NHLPA to accept a cap, then they got the PA almost accepting linkage (problem is they only want it going up), now they will jam a 25 to 35 million cap down their throats and within a few years they will be making a killing. If Bettman gets the owners a low cap I think they should keep him around.

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Any deal the union winds up with is because of the poor negotiating of Goodenow.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You can say poor negotiating of Goodnow......true but Bettman was smart enough to put Goodnow in that tough situation where there was no right answer. He gives into the 42.5 million and the players are mad, he doesn't, Bettman cancells the season and the NHLPA jump on him. Either way he is screwed.....one way it is by a small stick.....the other way he gets screwed farther down the road by a bigger stick. He picked his odds with the big stick :)

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Goodenow, despite being a jerk, did what you don't do in negotiations: We will NOT accept a cap. Anyone go to their boss and say crap like that? Then when he agrees to it and it doesn't go through, it still solved nothing.

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Negotiating should be like trading players. Nothing is ever out of the question as long as I get the right return for it.

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Bettman is crying like a freaking child that he and the owners were duped by the NHLPA.

All I have to say is this, "Boo fricking hoo, Gary. If you guys weren't smart enough to figure out that you were walking into a setup, if that's really what happened, then you deserve all of the scorn and ridicule that you're receiving right now. Go cry me a river, you mensa-challenged clown."

The twin morons, Goodenow and Bettman are a joke in nutshell.

I wouldn't trust either of them with a kid's piggy bank. :rant:

IceThief

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*THAT* I agree with fully. Bettman was outmanouvered here. Yes, the NHLPA played a low-down dirty conniving underhanded stunt on the league and its fans... but someone in charge of a $2.1B industry shouldn't be caught with their pants down. Bettman walked right into their trap.

Edited by Don

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I wouldn't trust Bettman with a piggy bank because he'd misinvest half of it and flat-out lose the other half. I wouldn't trust Goodenow with it because he'd refuse to give it back and would demand I paid him more for the priviledge of holding the bank :P

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